BPEA | 1989 No. 2

Europe without Borders

1989, No. 2

As LITTLE as five years ago, Europe, its economies stagnating in what
numerous observers diagnosed as a serious case of Eurosclerosis, was
mired in pessimism. Today, that same Europe is euphoric, if also
occasionally anxious, over the prospect of eliminating its internal borders,
at least for commercial purposes, by the end of 1992.
In no small measure this dramatic turnabout is the personal achievement
of Jacques Delors, President of the European Commission since
January 1985. He and his fellow commissioners, especially Lord Cockfield,
put forward a program of action that has captured the imagination
of Europeans and reinvigorated Europe’s economy. Their proposal,
outlined in a White Paper, “Completing the Internal Market,” published
in July 1985, fell on receptive ground, since Europeans were ready for
new initiatives. The White Paper called for the completion of the internal
market-for goods, services, capital, and labor-by the end of 1992. To
this end, it suggested the need to adopt more than 300 “directives,”
which carry the force of law within the European Community, a number
that has since been reduced through consolidation to 279.